The Princess Diaries (2001)

One of the classic chickflicks of my childhood. Any film with Anne Hathaway I will watch and this one is no different, throw in Julie Andrews too and that just makes it even more brilliant. They both play the main protagonists of the film, excellently of course, why do I even need to mention that? The plot of the film goes: Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), a clumsy, “invisible” 15 year old teenager is surprised when a visit from her Grandma (Julie Andrews) is suddenly sprung on her. A Grandma she hardly knows anything about, but that is all about to change when Mia discovers her Grandma isn’t any normal Grandma, but in fact Queen, Queen Clarisse of Genovea. This, ultimately, means that Mia herself is a Princess. A drastic change of lifestyle to say the least. In an urgency to keep the peace in the family, a deal is struck, Mia will participate in Princess training and will decide whether she will take her place in the royal family or not at the ball.

The film is filled with comedic moments, I really do think this is a great film. My favourite has to be the drastic change Mia has to partake. I will admit, this isn’t a film that has you laughing at every moment or crying with laughter, but it is one of those feel good movies, one that makes you smile and giggle occasionally. Anne Hathaway really does play the 15 year old girl brilliantly, every single part is recognisable in the stereotypical teen, which is perfect. Her transformation is one that couldn’t be further apart. A girl who never brushes her hair to a princess, a princess who must present herself in front of people, a princess who would be followed by the press. Such a big transformation and of course not one that many can relate to, but it was a film that had to be made and I’m glad it was.

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This film is one of a huge cast. There are many characters to love in this film. A character that does need special attention to, in my opinion, is Joe (Hector Elizondo). Joe is a brilliant character, one that can have the audience routing for him, one where we know he is always there watching, helping, caring, loving. He should not be a character underappreciated. There are of course many other characters; so many that, in the credits, the cast are split into scenes they appeared in… There is Mia’s best friend, Lilly (Heather Matarazzo), a character the audience has its ups and downs with. Then the ‘popular’ girl, the stereotypical popular girl of the school who is horrible to everyone, played by Mandy Moore, Lana. Mandy Moore recognisable as the lead in ‘A Walk To Remember’ or even the voice of Rapunzel in ‘Tangled’. Her character is probably more relatable to the school life of teenagers, alike to others in Mia’s life before her Grandma arrived and changed everything. The film jumps to the school life to the princess life and then they drastically cross over as things start to get out of hand.

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I would definitely recommend this film, it is enjoyable and just a feel-good chickflick film. If you like movies such as ’10 Things I Hate About You’, or imdb even suggests ‘Freaky Friday’, ‘Enchanted’ or ‘A Cinderella Story’, I can’t see why you wouldn’t appreciate this one. Based off the books by Meg Cabot, it is a great family film, to rise happy moods in everyone. There is also the second film, ‘A Royal Engagement’, which I probably prefer, but that doesn’t mean this one is bad, not at all. Anyway, if you think this is a film for you, I would recommend it over and over again. Watch Mia come to terms with this new life that has suddenly collapsed on her, while she tries to travel through her teenage life like a normal human being.

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